Santa Monica with 2 year old son - help
NY hound come to town this weekend and looking for casual places that i can take family. i dont want chains, so any good local spots?
any type of food is ok, just really good food.
Well, as a parent who has taken a young child to Fritto Misto, I'd be just a little bit wary.
It's certainly a terrific choice for kids foodwise, especially since it has such an extensive, excellent "Make Your Own Pasta" section on the standard menu. Alongside that, they also have a separate children's menu with smaller portions and lower prices.
But that's pretty much it as far as its family-friendliness goes. With regard to everything else that's involved with taking a child to a restaurant, Fritto Misto IMHO has the potential to be a pretty dicey proposition.
As already noted above, the wait for a table can be quite long (and there is no waiting area inside, so be aware that you'll probably be standing out on the sidewalk). The bathrooms are for individual users only, so you and your child will likely have to wait for your turn there as well. And the fairly close layout of the tables pretty much demands that all diners stay confined to their seats, so there's not much wiggle room for kids to be horsing around or carried. Finally, while it is a bright restaurant for lunch, it is quite dimly lit at night, which I know gives some kids the creeps.
Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love the place. It's one of my all-time favorites in L.A. But I think you need an especially well-behaved child who is in a happy-but-sedate mood before you can feel comfortably assured of a successful family meal there.
Jack and Jill's for a casual breakfast/lunch. Very California menu (lots of fresh ingredients, plenty of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, local/organic/sustainable fare, etc.)
The dishes themselves are standard breakfast fare but well prepared Portions are large enough for two light eaters to share. French fries looked fantastic last time I was there, and there are cookies and cupcakes to tempt sweet teeth. An extensive drink menu of coffee, espresso, tea, and juice is available. The space is casual, the crowd is youngish, and the wait's not usually bad.
And, as always, I'll recommend Musha for dinner. Izakaya (small plate, bbq) Japanese food with a very slight fusion bend. I don't know what the izakaya scene is like in NYC, but if you say the word izakaya and it doesn't ring a bell, it's well worth the stop for some NY hounds.
For Italian, I'd go to Pizzicotto (sp.?) in Brentwood. Great food and very kid friendly tables outside, in the front.
For Mexican, Tacos Por Favor on Olympic. Nicely spiced foods for the adults and a very flexible menu for kids. They do get crowded on weekdays at lunch.
Reddi Chick on 26th st. Yum chicken in a HEAVILY kid populated spot. (If any of your kids are well behaved, avoid this place. Lest they be exposed to "how not to behave, at ANY restaraunt.")
Library Ale House on Main St.. Great back patio for kids. Great brews. Very dependable menu. Keep the ordering simple, burgers, etc.
Lastly, The Broadway Deli. Most on this board dislike it. I think it's fine. They serve food all day. VERY kid friendly (read no stress). It's not cheap, so plan on sharing. But that's what families are for.
Hope these help !